At least it appears there are no words for “Custard Pie” in Hawaiian. The powers of the interwebs and the box of knowledge have failed me. Curse you Al Gore.
Anyway…on to co-worker birthday request #3 (I think…I’m losing track). When I asked Liz what her favorite dessert was, custard pie was not the answer I was expecting. I’d never heard of custard pie. I don’t do pie. I have a genetic mutation that makes it impossible for me to make pie crust from scratch that does not resemble shoe leather. My mother has it, my great-grandmother had it, it is just the cross I bear. I’m thinking of starting a foundation to raise money for research into this rare and tragic condition. Thankfully, in the meantime, the store-bought versions are pretty darn good (though they do make me feel like I’m cheating).
I also don’t think I’ve ever made a custard from scratch. Game ON. My first attempt at this failed so badly I didn’t even take pictures of it. Who knew you couldn’t make a custard sufficiently custardy with skim milk? I guess I could have figured it out, however I was in denial and not wanting to go to the store. It never solidified. Liz would have had to drink her birthday pie. I slogged to the store and tried again with the proper ingredients and found that it’s really pretty simple if you follow directions (I’m still working on that).
The origin of Liz’s attachment to custard pie is her upbringing in Hawaii. Evidently over there custard pies grow on trees and are taking over the entire state. However, they are endangered and difficult to spot here on the main land (again, I don’t do pie, so I wouldn’t know). Liz paid me a wonderful complement this morning when she told me my inaugural custard pie exceeded her memories and expectations. Liz is also a pathological liar and she drinks, but we love her just the same. Happy birthday Liz! (oh, and the promised blow torch part comes later)
SO…due to disorder and need to buy pie crust, there was more filling than room in the crust. I figured custard would be good without crust too, so I filled a ramekin with the surplus and baked that as well. B saw it cooling on the counter and dug in, declaring that the only thing that would make it better was caramelized sugar on top, creme brulee style.
Now, I encourage anything with a sugary crust on it, but I was not expecting to walk back into the kitchen a minute later to find B creme bruleeing the custard…with a blow torch. No sissy William Sonoma chef torches in this house people. If it’s good enough for, well, whatever he uses that thing for, it’s good enough for dessert:
NOTE: Please do not try this at home (unless you are skilled in the operation of a rusty flame thrower thingie). I will not accept any responsibility for the myriad of things that could go drastically wrong here.
Tomorrow, I have jury duty. There’s an 87.3% chance something blog-worthy will happen.
Restaurant Style Egg Custard Pie
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk (yeah, I know)
3 tablespoons butter
1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust (see, they can’t make it either)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix just enough to incorporate all the ingredients. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk and butter. Use a wire whisk and stir constantly until the milk begins to rise in the saucepan at a rapid boil – 5 to 8 minutes. NEVER stop stirring, or the milk will burn. Pour the hot mixture into the egg mixture, stirring as you pour.
- Line a 9 inch pan with dough. Pour custard mixture into crust. Protect the edges of crust with a ring of aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Filling will appear slightly jiggly. Allow to cool.